House To Write Own Immigration Bill; Is NSA Tracking Guns?; DUI Suspects’ Blood Drawn By Force; WTH Is ‘Black English’?; And More – Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-28-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

House Republicans Scorn Senate Immigration Bill; Say They’ll Craft Their Own

House Republicans haven’t had time to read through the massive omnibus immigration reform bill their Senate colleagues passed on Thursday. Judging by their comments, they’re much more likely to craft their own version – or smaller, bite-sized versions – of immigration legislation than to spend time and energy reading through the bloated Senate package. Read More… 

Senate Panel: Is NSA Watching Americans Buy Guns? Books? Tools? Aspirin?

A group of 26 Senators has asked NSA Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to explain how, and to what extent, the agency grabs up data generated from citizens’ network-based credit transactions, banking data, library records and pharmacy visits, with a focus on buying habits that pertain to guns and media. Read More…

‘What Country Is This!?’: DUI Suspects Strapped Down To Have Blood Drawn By Force

While many Americans likely support efforts to convict drunk drivers, a recent report illustrates just how intrusive the policies are. See How It’s Done… 

MSNBC Lauds ‘Articulate’ Use Of ‘Black English’ By Inaudible, Mumbling Witness In Zimmerman Trial

MSNBC’s expert John McWhorter, a Columbia University linguist, explains that a star witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial, Rachel Jeantel,  was abused by defense attorneys who simply didn’t understand her dialect. Read More… 

Bloomberg: Stop-And-Frisk Is Great; Start Targeting Blacks More, Whites Less

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the city police department’s unConstitutional stop-and-frisk policy on his weekly radio show Friday, but confused his fellow liberals when he said too many whites are being targeted. Read More…

Bloomberg: Stop-And-Frisk Is Great; Start Targeting Blacks More, Whites Less

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the city police department’s unConstitutional stop-and-frisk policy on his weekly radio show Friday, but confused his fellow liberals when he stopped to add this:

I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It’s exactly the reverse of what they say. I don’t know where they [opponents of the policy] went to school but they certainly didn’t take a math course. Or a logic course.

Ouch. Bloomberg was basing his comments on statistics that point to blacks and Hispanics as the suspected perpetrators of 90 percent of murders in New York last year. The same stats estimate 87 percent of all stop-and-frisk stops targeted blacks and Hispanics, while 9 percent targeted whites.

Stop-and-frisk authorizes NYPD officers to stop citizens in public without probable cause and search their persons and their belongings.

MSNBC Lauds ‘Articulate’ Use Of ‘Black English’ By Inaudible, Mumbling Witness In Zimmerman Trial

MSNBC’s expert John McWhorter, a Columbia University linguist, explains that a star witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial, Rachel Jeantel,  was abused by defense attorneys who simply didn’t understand her dialect.

McWhorter explained: “It’s been a little scary. Sometimes it’s like she’s speaking Hungarian, and he’s speaking Cantonese. She’s been articulate, just in a different kind of English than mainstream English, she’s speaking Black English. Everything she says, where you can see the Twittersphere, or people I know thinking she’s making a grammatical mistake. If a Martian came down and the Martian happened to be in South-Central rather than in Grand Rapids, the Martian would have as hard a time figuring out how this dialect worked as any other. She said in the clip that ‘I had told you.’ Many people are thinking, ‘why is she using that?’ That’s Black English.”


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So, does that mean U.S. courts should begin providing interpreters in cases where Black English speakers and people who speak garden variety English are in mixed company? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Senate Panel: Is NSA Watching Americans Buy Guns? Books? Tools? Aspirin?

A group of Senators from both political parties is investigating whether the National Security Agency (NSA) has been mining data on Americans’ purchasing habits, focusing especially on firearms and media consumption.

The 26-member group sent a letter Thursday to NSA Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, asking him to explain how, and to what extent, the agency grabs up data generated from citizens’ network-based credit transactions, banking data, library records and pharmacy visits.

Asserting that the U.S. Patriot Act authorized surveillance methods that hid government’s broad reach from both American citizens and the limiting influence of Congressional oversight, the Senators question both the efficacy and the legality of relying on the Patriot Act as a rubber-stamp search tool for the vast majority of Americans who aren’t suspected of a crime.

The PATRIOT Act’s business records authority is very broad in its scope. It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects. And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases. These other types of bulk collection could clearly have a significant impact on Americans’ privacy and liberties as well.

It has been suggested that the privacy impact of particular methods of domestic surveillance should be weighed against the degree to which the surveillance enhances our national security. With this in mind, we are interested in hearing more details about why you believe that the bulk phone records collection program provides any unique value.

…[W]e are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law. Statements from senior officials that the PATRIOT Act authority is “analogous to a grand jury subpoena” and that the NSA “[doesn’t] hold data on US citizens” had the effect of misleading the public about how the law was being interpreted and implemented.

This prevented our constituents from evaluating the decisions that their government was making, and will unfortunately undermine trust in government more broadly.

The letter is blunt in asking many of the same questions Americans outraged by the (known) scope of the NSA’s surveillance methods want to ask:

  • How long has the NSA used PATRIOT Act authorities to engage in bulk collection of Americans’ records? Was this collection underway when the law was reauthorized in 2006?
  • Has the NSA used USA PATRIOT Act authorities to conduct bulk collection of any other types of records pertaining to Americans, beyond phone records?
  • Has the NSA collected or made any plans to collect Americans’ cell-site location data in bulk?
  • Have there been any violations of the court orders permitting this bulk collection, or of the rules governing access to these records? If so, please describe these violations.
  • Please identify any specific examples of instances in which intelligence gained by reviewing phone records obtained through Section 215 bulk collection proved useful in thwarting a particular terrorist plot.
  • Please provide specific examples of instances in which useful intelligence was gained by reviewing phone records that could not have been obtained without the bulk collection authority, if such examples exist.
  • Please describe the employment status of all persons with conceivable access to this data, including IT professionals, and detail whether they are federal employees, civilian or military, or contractors.


‘What Country Is This!?’: DUI Suspects Strapped Down To Have Blood Drawn By Force

Many States have had longstanding policies that allow police to obtain a warrant to forcibly draw the blood of people suspected of drunk driving if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.

While many Americans likely support efforts to convict drunk drivers, a recent report from Fox 5 Atlanta illustrates just how intrusive the policies are.

Here is the Fox 5 report.

And here is footage of a similar incident in Gillette, Wyoming on May 22, 2012 when police drew blood from a DUI suspect after getting a warrant.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that procedures like the one highlighted in the videos above hold up to Constitutional muster.

H/T: Infowars

House Republicans Scorn Senate Immigration Bill; Say They’ll Craft Their Own

House Republicans haven’t had time to read through the massive omnibus immigration reform bill their Senate colleagues passed on Thursday.

Judging by their comments about the bill, which creates a path to amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S. and authorizes completion of a border fence that the DHS Secretary can choose to terminate, they’re much more likely to craft their own version – or smaller, bite-sized versions – of immigration legislation than to spend time and energy reading through the Senate package, which most of them have already dismissed.

Regard for the Senate bill in the Republican-majority House is almost universally scornful, with Congressmen insinuating the House has become the “smarter” legislative chamber, offering a moral and intellectual salve for the hasty, unconsidered and self-defeating approach to immigration reform they feel their Senate peers have taken.

Here’s a sampling of House members’ spoken disdain for the Senate bill:

  • “Just like all the Senators, I haven’t read it yet.” – Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)
  • “The Corker-Hoeven [border security] amendment is terrible.” – John Fleming (R-La.)
  • “More work on the border is good, but it doesn’t solve all the problems with that bill.” – Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
  • “It is a pipe dream to think that that bill is going to the floor and be voted on.” – Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)
  • “[F]old it up into a paper airplane and throw it out the window.” – Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.)
  • “If you think that the House is going to cave and bring up the Senate bill, that is idiotic.” – Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
  • “The Senate is, at this point, irrelevant.” – Ted Poe (R-Texas)

H/T: National Review

Missing Boy, 12, Found Sleeping In Back Of Wrong Car

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UPI) — Police in Wisconsin said a 12-year-old boy missing for about two hours at a ballpark had fallen asleep in the wrong car.

Eau Claire police said the boy’s grandmother told investigators she dropped the boy off at the Babe Ruth baseball fields just after 8 p.m. Monday while she searched for a parking spot, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported Thursday.

The woman assumed her grandson had gone to play at the nearby Mount Simon Park but she soon realized he wasn’t in the area and police were contacted while civilians joined the grandmother in searching for the boy.

Another woman visiting the ballpark discovered the boy sleeping in the back seat of her car about two hours later.

The boy told police he wanted to rest for a while and climbed into the car because he thought it was his grandmother’s vehicle.

The boy was returned to his grandmother.

Connecticut Decrees Wright Brothers Were Not First With Powered Aircraft

HARTFORD, Conn. (UPI) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed a bill to change history by decreeing Gustave Whitehead beat the Wright Brothers to powered flight.

Whitehead, a German immigrant who settled in Bridgeport, Conn., had been working on aircraft for several years by the time Wilbur and Orville Wright made their flight at Kitty Hawk on a North Carolina barrier island in 1903. In 1901, the Bridgeport Herald published an article by a reporter who said he had witnessed a powered flight.

Malloy signed a bill Wednesday that changes Powered Flight Day to honor Whitehead, at least in Connecticut, the New York Daily News reported. The Legislature passed the bill earlier this month.

The bill was inspired by support from the editor of “Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft,” who decided several months ago that there was convincing proof Whitehead did achieve powered flight before the Wrights. Critics say the surviving photos do not prove much of anything and also point out that Whitehead was apparently unable to duplicate his early success, the Hartford Courant reported.

Arkansas woman says pet pig shouldn’t be called livestockThursday, June 27, 2013 4:36 PMLITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 27 (UPI) —  An Arkansas woman said she will go to court to argue her pet Vietnamese pot bellied pig should not be considered livestock under the city code.

Jyll Latham said she checked the Little Rock city code before she purchased her pig, W.P. Sooie, about a year ago, to ensure the animal was allowed, KATV, Little Rock, reported Thursday.

“I specifically checked the Little Rock City code and it allowed pot belly pigs,” Latham said.

However, she said she did not read the livestock code, which requires hoofed animals to be kept out of city lots and requires them to be at least 300 feet from the nearest neighboring residence.

Andre Bernard, director of the Little Rock Department of Housing & Neighborhood Programs, said the codes are not together, but are located in the same section.

Latham said she received a citation when her neighbor complained only days after she moved from another home in Little Rock. She said she plans to argue in court that her pet should not be considered livestock.

“I’ve enjoyed him from the day I got him. It’s just been buying this house in particular that’s been a huge regret,” she said.

Mexican Amusement Park Simulates Illegal Border Crossing

PACHUCA DE SOTO, Mexico (UPI) — Operators of a Mexican theme park that simulates the journey of illegal immigrants across the U.S. border said they are aiming to discourage the practice.

The Parque EcoAlberto theme park, about 800 miles from the Mexico-U.S. border in the state of Hidalgo, charges visitors about $20 each to be led by a fake smuggler on a 7-mile “Night Walk” fraught with simulated dangers including barking dogs and fake border patrol officers, NBC News reported Friday.

Park administrator Maribel Garcia told PBS the aim is to discourage illegal border crossing.

“Our objective is to stop the immigration that exists amongst our citizens, principally from the state of Mexico to the [United States],” Garcia said.

Irish Monument’s Kennedy-Linked Flame Goes Out

NEW ROSS, Ireland (UPI) — An Irish memorial with a flame carried from U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s grave in Arlington, Va., went out due to a soot buildup, officials said.

Eamonn Hore of the of Wexford County Council said the Emigrant Flame in New Ross went out Wednesday night, just four days after it was lit using flames carried from Kennedy’s eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery by the late leader’s sister Jean Kennedy Smith, daughter Caroline Kennedy and Irish Premier Enda Kenny, NBC News reported Friday.

Hore said the council had miner’s lamps lit from the Arlington flame so the memorial can be restarted.

“It is a fact that with a flame like that as part of the maintenance anyway it will be switched off,” he said.

Hore said the flame went out due to a buildup of soot.

The memorial was lit to observe the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s visit to Ireland.

Senate Aide Says White House Working On Replacement For Bernanke

WASHINGTON (UPI) — White House officials are working to select a replacement for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose second term ends in January, a Senate aide said.

“They’ve indicated that they are working to get us a nominee in time for us to do our due diligence,” the  aide said.

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said the Obama administration’s media team would not comment on a personnel matter “until the president has made his decision and is ready to announce them.”

While indications are that Bernanke will leave the Fed when his term ends on Jan. 31, 2014, the short list for the next Fed chairman includes Bernanke himself, The New York Times reported Friday.

Bernanke could be persuaded to stay, although President Obama said in an interview recently the chairman, in his second four-year term, “already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or was supposed to.”

People familiar with the matter said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was putting together a short list of possible replacements.

The candidate most frequently mentioned as the front-runner is the current vice chairwoman, Janet Yellen, the Times said.

Yellen served as the chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration. She has also been president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve and a Fed governor.

Other strong possibilities for the position include former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has said he does not want it, former Vice Chairmen Alan Blinder, now a Princeton University professor, and Christina Romer, who previously headed the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers could also be considered a candidate for the post, the Times said.

Senate Panel To Look Into Smithfield-Shuanghui Deal

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Senate Agriculture Committee said it would investigate a deal to sell U.S. meat processing giant Smithfield Foods to Shuanghui International of China.

The companies announced a $4.7 billion purchasing agreement, which they said would help increase U.S. pork exports to China.

The committee chaired by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is concerned the sale could somehow diminish U.S. food standards, The New York Times reported Friday.

The committee has scheduled a hearing for July 10 to review the deal, the Times said.

The sale is also being scrutinized by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, even though that panel generally deals with foreign investments that might compromise national security, such as the sale of a sensitive technology company or an aerospace firm.

“We welcome a full review and fair consideration of the Shuanghui-Smithfield combination from the U.S. government. We believe the proposed combination does not present any national security concerns, is good for U.S. farmers and agriculture and will advance U.S.-China relations. We will continue to provide Congress and [the committee] with all the information requested to allow a full and timely review of the combination,” the company has said.

A spokesman for Shuanghui declined to comment, the Times said.

15 Percent Of U.S. Infertile Men May Have Higher Cancer Risk

STANFORD, Calif. (UPI) — Men diagnosed as azoospermic, infertile due to a lack of sperm, are more prone to developing cancer than the general male population, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Dr. Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology at the medical school and director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues said diagnoses of male infertility and azoospermia are surprisingly common in the United States.

About 4 million U.S. men — 15 percent of those ages 15-45 — are infertile, of which some 600,000 are azoospermic, the study said.

Eisenberg conducted most of the analysis at Stanford using data gathered from the Texas Cancer Registry and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he completed his medical training.

The study involved 2,238 infertile men who were seen at a Baylor andrology clinic from 1989-2009. Their median age was 35.7 when they were first evaluated for the cause of their infertility.

Of those men, 451 had azoospermia, and 1,787 did not. There were no further apparent initial differences between the two groups.

The study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found a diagnosis of azoospermia before age 30 carried an eight-fold cancer risk.

“An azoospermic man’s risk for developing cancer is similar to that for a typical man 10 years older,” Eisenberg, said in a statement. “There is evidence that infertility may be a barometer for men’s overall health, and a few studies have found an association of male infertility with testicular cancer.”

The study not only assigns the bulk of infertile men’s increased cancer risk to those with azoospermia, but also suggested this risk extends beyond testicular cancer, Eisenberg said.

High-Carb Foods May Trigger Addictive Response In The Brain

BOSTON (UPI) — Eating cookies and sweet drinks containing refined carbohydrates may trigger addictive behavior just like nicotine or cocaine, U.S. and German researchers say.

Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues at Ulm University in Germany, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School examined effects of the glycemic index on brain activity after an interval of several hours after eating.

Glycemic load accounts for how much carbohydrate is in the food and how much each gram of carbohydrate in the food raises blood glucose levels. It is based on the glycemic index — the grams of available carbohydrate in the food times the food’s glycemic load and divided by 100.

The study involved 12 overweight or obese men ages 18-35, who consumed high- and low-GI meals controlled for calories, macronutrients and palatability on two occasions — two milk shakes, with the same amount of calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates that tasted equally sweet, but one with a much higher glycemic index from carbohydrates.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found those who drank the milk shake with the higher glycemic index had their blood-sugar levels surge, then crash a few hours later, leaving them feeling hungry.

The brain scans showed the high glycemic milk shakes activated the nucleus accumbens, which is also triggered by drugs, which are addictive, the study found.

Survey: 96 Percent Say Best Sex If Emotionally Connected

NEW YORK (UPI) — Ninety-six percent of U.S. adults say the best sex is with someone with whom they are truly emotionally connected, a survey indicates.

The survey by Durex, the condom manufacturer, and, a relationship website, also found 92 percent of the website readers said it’s a turn-on when their partner shows some vulnerability, because it is an important part of emotional closeness.

Respondents ranked “being with someone I love” as the top confidence booster in bed, followed by “feeling good about my sexual abilities,” and “when my partner compliments me,” the survey said.

Nevertheless, respondents indicated great sex cannot exist without the three elements: physical attraction, emotional intimacy and feeling secure/loved.

“We’ve been conditioned by the media to believe that sex is primarily physical and a couple’s sex life will inevitably fizzle with time. However, these findings indicate just the opposite — getting closer on an emotional level is the key to getting closer physically,” Andrea Miller, YourTango chief executive officers, said in a statement. “Still, the majority of respondents reported having sex one to two times per week but would like to have sex three or more times per week.”

Ninety percent of respondents indicated it was possible for sex to actually get better over time.

No survey details were provided.

U.S. Midwest Gas Prices Back To ‘Normal’

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Retail gasoline prices for consumers in the U.S. Midwest are closer to the national average after a series of refinery issues, the U.S. Energy Department said.

AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Friday of $3.51, nearly 10 cents less than the same time last week. Drivers in Illinois paid an average $3.80 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Friday, compared to the $3.99 average reported by AAA one week ago.

The Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the Energy Department, said unscheduled and routine maintenance in the Midwest market this spring meant gasoline inventories were lower than average, meaning higher prices for consumers.

The EIA said refineries started returning to normal operations after mid-May inventory declines. Most refineries do not produce enough gasoline to meet regional summer demand, so it takes longer for prices to return to normal because of gasoline deliveries from other regions.

The price reduction comes ahead of the Independence Day holiday in the United States. AAA said it expects less road travel this season when compared to last year.

EIA expects a seasonal average price of $3.53 per gallon.

Florida A&M Lifts Marching Band Suspension

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UPI) — Florida A&M University’s interim president said he lifted a suspension on the school’s marching band, a year and a half after the hazing death of a student.

Larry Robinson said Thursday the school’s Marching 100 would be back on the field under direction of new director Sylvester Young, CNN reported.

Activities of the 400-member band were suspended in November 2011 after drum major Robert Champion died hours after a hazing incident.

Champion endured 300 blows from band members while on a bus after the band performed at a football game. The hazing was known among FAMU band members as “Crossing Bus C.”

As part of a school overhaul to combat the prevalence of hazing, officials created two new positions — a music department compliance officer and a special assistant to the president who focuses on anti-hazing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Another change will be that the Marching 100 will be significantly smaller than before, and there will be new academic requirements for band members, The New York Times reported.

“We don’t think you need to be the biggest,” Robinson said. “You just need to be the best.”

Champion’s parents said the anti-hazing steps the school is taking aren’t enough, CNN reported.

“You need a lot more in order to get that message out,” said Pam Champion. “You need to be in those schools, in their face, every opportunity that you can get.”

Trial Date Set For Suspects In Hacking Death Of British Soldier

LONDON (UPI) — Two men accused of hacking British soldier Lee Rigby to death had their trial date set for Nov. 18 at a London court hearing Friday, officials said.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, both charged with murder, appeared at the hearing via video link from separate prison cells and spoke only to confirm their names, ITV News reported.

Members of Rigby’s family were at the hearing, the BBC reported.

The suspects are accused of killing Rigby with weapons that included a machete outside his Woolwich barracks in May.

Witnesses at the scene said Adebolajo told them he killed Rigby in retaliation for the killing of Muslims by British soldiers in the Middle East and Asia.

Florida Police Looking For Women Who Drugged Men, Stole Their Valuables

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (UPI) — Police in Florida say they are looking for four women accused of drugging men they meet at bars, going to their homes, and robbing them.

The suspects — identified as Subhanna Beyah, 25; Johnnina Miller, 25; Keshia Clark, 27; and Ryan Elkins, 23 — have allegedly drugged and stolen items from at least four men, CNN reported Friday.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said it’s possible other victims “haven’t come forward because they’re embarrassed.”

“We anticipate identifying other suspects and other victims,” she said.

Scott Rosen, 54, told CNN he met two of the suspects at a Fort Lauderdale bar and invited them to his home, where one of them distracted him while the other made him a drink that knocked him out.

“I got drugged,” Rosen said.

Rosen said he woke up to find the women gone and more than $250,000 worth of his personal items had been stolen, including his handguns, diamonds and the Rolex watch he was wearing when he brought the women to his home.

“It could have been worse,” he noted. “They could have shot me with my own handgun.”

The sheriff’s department has issued arrest warrants for the women on charges of one count of grand theft each.

“We really want to get these women off the street … because they’re drugging their victims, presumably,” Moschella said. “We don’t know how long it will be before they end up killing somebody accidentally.”

More Than 50 Percent Of Japanese Married Couples Not Having Sex

TOKYO (UPI) — More than half of Japanese married couples say they would classify their marriages as sexless, a survey found.

The poll, conducted by Sagami Rubber Industries Co. in January and released Thursday, found 55.2 percent of married couples said they think they are generally classified as sexless, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

About 29 percent of unmarried respondents said they think they are in a sexless relationship.

The pollster said on average, married couples have sex about 1.7 times a month, while unmarried couples have sex about 4.1 times per month.

Common reasons given as to why respondents felt they had sex less frequently included that a “partner does not feel like having sex” and that the couples do not have much “chance” to fit sex into their daily schedules.

The online survey received 14,100 responses from men and women ages 20-69. No margin of error was reported.

Study: One-Third Of Student Loan Borrowers Didn’t Finish College

NEW YORK (UPI) — Student loan debt has increased to the point that one in five U.S. adults, one-third of them not college graduates, owe money on student loans, a study says.

A study by the Urban Institute says the average student loan debt grows by $1,000 each year, 19.6 percent of adults 20 or older owe money on student loans and 57 percent say they are concerned about repayment.

One-third of the debtors never graduated from college, the study said.

Congress is debating whether to allow the interest rate on a popular federal student loan program to double beginning July 1, CBS/MoneyWatch reported Friday.

Press Coddles Obama In Africa; Army Censors NSA Scandal; N.C. Drops Federal Unemployment; Pelosi’s Obamacare 4th Of July; National Park Police: Dude, Where’s My Gun?! — Friday Morning News Roundup 6-28-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • While flying Air Force One to South Africa, the press had a chance to ask President Barack Obama about major issues concerning Americans: the scandals, the controversial Supreme Court decisions, immigration, and many others. Instead, the press asked about Obama’s Africa legacy (or lack thereof), China’s relationship with Africa, the commitment of U.S. companies to Africa, and whether he’ll visit the ailing Nelson Mandela. Source: The Weekly Standard
  • The Army is blocking all access to The Guardian newspaper’s reports about the National Security Agency’s sweeping collection of data about Americans’ email and phone communications, an Army spokesman said Thursday. Source: U.S. News
  • With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless. Source: CBS Charlotte… 
  • According to Nancy Pelosi, Democrats won’t only celebrate American independence on July 4, but will also be celebrating “health independence” thanks to Obamacare. The House minority leader tied the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the healthcare law to the July 4 holiday. Source: National Review… 
  • The U.S. Park Police, the law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding the National Mall and critical American landmarks, has lost track of a large supply of handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to a harshly critical report issued Thursday. Source: NBC Washington…